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Lot
170

1944-D Lincoln Cent--Struck on a Zinc-Coated Steel Planchet--AU55 NGC....

2010 June Long Beach, CA Signature US Coin Auction #1140

 
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Auction Ended On: Jun 3, 2010
Item Activity: 14 Internet/mail/phone bidders Number of Bidders
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Location:

Long Beach Convention Center
100 S. Pine Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90802

Description:
Important 1944-D Lincoln Cent Error
Struck on a Steel Planchet, AU55
1944-D Lincoln Cent--Struck on a Zinc-Coated Steel Planchet--AU55 NGC. 2.8 gm. The off-metal branch mint 1943 and 1944 cents have small populations compared to their P-mint counterparts. The standard explanation for the 1943 bronze cents is that there were hundreds of millions more cents struck at Philadelphia that year than there were at Denver and San Francisco combined. Much the same logic could be applied to the 1944 steel cents, but there is an added wrinkle to their story.
An emergency coinage for Belgium during the waning days of World War II was struck at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, and according to David Lange in his Complete Guide to Lincoln Cents, the coinage, denomination two francs, was designed specifically to use leftover steel cent planchets on hand from the previous year. With so many steel planchets in use at the same time copper-alloy cents were being struck, it would be understandable if some of the old steel planchets found their way between 1944-dated cent dies. San Francisco and Denver, however, never presented this opportunity for cross-contamination, and the known population of 1944-S and 1944-D steel cents may well be lower as a result.
This piece still exhibits much of its original subdued luster, with appealing powder-gray surfaces that are free of distractions, despite the few darker charcoal-gray flecks that appear only under a loupe. The strike is impressive, although a hair-thin scrape appears at just the correct angle under a loupe in the right obverse field. Die erosion creates some frosty areas near the obverse border. A small planchet indentation on the reverse, under the T of CENT, provides a pedigree marker but is likely as made at the Mint.
From The Brenda John Collection.

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